What is comparative politics?
The study and comparison of domestic politics across countries
Why do we compare?
-It's human nature
-"Keeping up with the Jones'"
-"Without comparison, the mind does not know how to proceed" Alexis Toquille
-To find an ideal quality (if possible)
Who are the actors in comparative politics?
What are the four qualifications to be considered a legal state?
1. Defined territory
2. A permanent population
3. A government must be capable of maintaining external and internal sovereignty (national security and internal order; viewed as legitimate by the governed).
4. International recognition
What are the characteristics that are shared by a nation? (be able to list them)
-shared ethnicity or race
The Comparative Method
Choose cases to compare; differentiate only one variable
a. Classification/ Taxonomy
b. Causation- if, then statements
*Emphasis more on quantitative studies rather than qualitative
Theory and practice of grouping individuals into species, arranging species into larger groups, and giving those groups names, thus producing a classification
If, then statements
To prevent or encourage certain actions
using prediction in order to prevent certain actions
How does comparison help us in political science?
helps us to describe and understand different political institutions and be able to prepare and predict future outcomes
What are some of the CHALLENGES or DISADVANTAGES in comparative politics?
1. you cannot have a control group
- states vary
2. limited number of cases
3. limited access to cases
4. case selection cannot be randomized, selection bias
Three Techniques of Comparison
3. a mix
statistical data analysis, large number of cases
case studies; small number of cases
A mixture of comparisons
Using statistical data analysis in a small number of case studies
What are some of the different ways of comparing countries (e.g. over time, etc.)?
-Studying two or more countries; such as particular institutions, political process or public policy over time
A written record of a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.
What is the purpose of a constitution? (know about out countries' constitutions as covered in lecture and in readings)
Constitutions limit absolute power by placing conditions on the use of power by requiring the sharing of power with those subject to it through a process of debate, and by est. boundaries by which the law cannot intrude
- a monarchy sharing its ceremonial head of state with the United Kingdom and a number of other countries such as Canada.
-highest law within the people's republic of china
-one of the world's longest, enshrining in writing the fundamental principals of Britain's unwritten constitutional order of parliamentary democracy.
-Est. India as a federal republic, reserving significant authority for the state governments
-federal government of Brazil
Great Britain's Constitution
-citizens owe alligiance to crown (represents rules and tradition of enforcing those rules)
-3 NATIONS (England scotland and wales)
Why are constitutions important? What might they tell us about a country?
"government without a constitution is power without right" thomas paine
1. Monarchy or not
2. basic structure of government, presidential or parliamentary, how leaders are selected
3. How many houses in the legislature (unicameral or bicameral)
4. Federal or Unitary, or a confederal organization of the state
composed of two legislative bodies
a central government but its powers are limited by sub-national units (states, provinces, regions, etc.) power divided and/or shared
Government cannot take power away
Vertical separation of power
ex. Brazil, India, Nigeria
One hierarchical government where power is centralized. National government can dissolve power and take back power
ex. UK, China
There is a national government and subnational units where power is shared, but the subnational units have more power than the national government.
A political system that functions according to provisions of constitutions; written or uwritten
a system where there is very little respect or adherence to the provisions of the constitution
written down in a single document
not a single document (rare)
ex. Israel, UK, and New Zealand
ex. Brazil, US, Mexico
combines the roles of head of state and head of government in the office of the president.
These systems feature a directly elected president who holds most of the government's executive powers
PS have directly elected legislatures that, to varying degrees, serve as a check on presidential authority
ex. UK, India, Germany and Japan
features an executive head of government (often referred to as Prime Minister) who is usually elected from within the legislature.
The PM is the leader of the largest political party in the legislature
The PM and the cabinet are charged with formulating and executing policy.
Separation of Powers
The clear division of power between different branches of government and the provision that specific branches may check the power of other branches (checks and balances)
Checks and Balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
History of Nigeria
-250 ethnic groups
-16th-18th c. europeans settle along coast
-1807 british declare slave trade illegal
-1809 single islamic state
-1959 democratic elections (north, east and west)
History of Brazil
1850- Brazil bans slave trade
-30 year depression in coffee production
-For next 50 years Brazil struggled with governmental instability, military coups, and a declining econ.
-Pedro I and Pedro II
-Coffee was a main export
-Fernando Collor de Mello 1989 corrupt
History of China
-long history going back to 4000 BC
-1966-76- cultural revolution
-Get rid of four olds (customs, culture, habits, and ideas)
-1949-mao tse Zung lead communits to victory
-Qin Dynasty- china ruled under 1 empire, political power centralized
History of India
-1610- British chased away the Portuguese
& est. East India Trading CO. in Surat
-1858- direct britain control
History of Great Britain
-British government is the oldest operating political system in the world.
-Change has been evolutionary over 8 centuries
-last revolution 1688
-English civil war between parliamentarists and royalists
Which countries were colonized?
India, Nigeria, and Brazil
Which countries were colonizers?
What happened after Independence of India?
1948- became independent
-created three separate states: India, Pakistan, and East Pakistan (aka Bangladesh)
-Nehru, first PM of India
-1966 Indira Gandhi
-1984 Indira Gandhi assassinated by a sikh
What happened after independence of Brazil
1822- became independent
-Pedro I inherits throne
-Brazil bans slave trade
-Pedro II flees country
-50 years of struggle
What happened to independence of Nigeria?
1960- became independent
-Suspended the constitution
-Still many coups
-Federal Gov. created
-1976 General Olusegan Osanajo changes constitution creating an american-style presidential system